Road 2 Recovery: Part 3 - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe Sparks News, Weather, Video

Road 2 Recovery: Part 3

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With tremoring hands and eyes glazed over, Chris Hart is back - fresh off another detox. Five weeks ago, he found a bottle of rubbing alcohol in the warehouse, in a donated dresser. He says he couldn't resist. Chris chugged down the bottle and was kicked out of The Salvation Army's Adult Rehabilitation Program. He spent five weeks out on the streets again before begging to come back to the center. We sat down with him the day after his return with the first question, “Why did you do it?” “I don't know. I gotta figure out what's going on inside my head and figure out why I drink." Desperate to get clean, Chris says sobriety is his only option. “I can't go back out anymore. It'll kill me this time. I know it will and I don't want to die." As he waits for the pain of detoxing to subside, Chris is given a few days to rest before starting his journey towards recovery all over again.

According to Dr. Mark Broadhead, one of two Addiction Psychiatrists in northern Nevada, Chris' story is quite typical. “You'll get stories where it was on the 10th time that I finally got it.” “You don't give up on someone after two or three tries?” I asked? “No." In 20-plus years of practice, Dr. Broadhead says there are a myriad of genetic components contributing to addiction. It tends to run in families. Plus, the earlier someone is exposed to drugs and alcohol, and especially if their brain isn't fully developed (or if they are younger than 26), the greater the likelihood one will become dependent. Chris, for example, started drinking at six years old. Dr. Broadhead says the coping skills one should have learned as a child may not be fully-developed as an adult - because they have only relied on alcohol to cope. That, coupled with being homeless and having very little, in terms of resources and motivation, can make it even harder to get clean. “Basically they are the sickest of the sick." For that reason alone, Dr. Broadhead says The Salvation Army's efforts should be celebrated. “Yes, their success rates - if they get anything - are to be commended."

Pat Nelson is a success story. He is part of The Salvation Army's five-percent. Now days away from graduating, we met up with him at his boxing practice off-campus. “There you go, big man. There you go!” yells his trainer. At 46 years old, he plans to focus on boxing - instead of booze - after he completes the program. “I'm happy. I'm excited. A little scared. I know I have to go back out into the real world and be a productive member of society."

Just more than a month later, the day has come. Pat is greeted at The Salvation Army's church by his family. This is Pat's final chapel with the guys. He leads them in prayer and then, to a room packed with men, emotions flowed. “I'm just a grateful recovering alcoholic and I love all you guys and I'm just going to miss all of you. Thank you." Pat's time here is ending, but his recovery is just beginning. While some in this room will follow his lead, it will certainly be harder for others. Regardless of how long it takes, they are here right now; battling addiction when they wake up and striving to stay sober when the sun sets – with nothing but hope on the horizon.

After graduating from the rehabilitation program, Pat has earned a job with a local landscaping company. Chris is still in the program. To find out how he is doing, we will be airing a half-hour ‘Road 2 Recovery' special at 7 p.m. on December 4th.

To learn more about The Salvation Army Adult Rehabilitation Program, log onto http://satruck.org/rehabilitation-program. The program is self-sustaining through the re-sale of your donated goods at its thrift stores and other donations. It does not rely on a dime of taxpayer money.
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